Preventing road traffic injuries in school-going children
Globally, road traffic injuries account for 1.34 million deaths and up to 50 million non-fatal injuries, many of which result in permanent disabilities.
In India, between 146,000 and 270,000 people lose their lives every year on the roads and the country loses upwards of 3% in GDP.
Road transport injuries in India are the fourth leading cause of death in children aged 5-10 years and the leading cause of death in those aged 10-14 years.
Children from poor families are particularly exposed on road as pedestrians and bicyclists; when tragedy strikes, they suffer severe and often protracted effects, which can lock them and their families into a cycle of poverty.
There are numerous initiatives across the country which aim to prevent road traffic injuries through education and awareness activities but scientific studies in low- and middle-income countries such as Vietnam, China and Thailand have shown that education and awareness alone is not sufficient for bringing sustainable change to prevent road traffic injuries.
The World Health Organisation recommends the “Safe Systems Approach” a comprehensive approach to the entire spectrum of issues causing road traffic injuries is addressed. Being a systems approach, it brings sustainable change and will have a larger impact and greater beneficence to prevent road traffic injuries. The key components of the proposed with would be to build on the following safe systems component, in addition to education and awareness:
- Safe Speed – Speed restrictions on transportation routes to schools.
- Safe Roads & Roadsides Around School –Implementing low-cost improvements in infrastructure around schools to protect children on the school journey. Identified parking spaces, traffic calming measures, free sidewalks, safe crossings etc.
- Addressing road policies, regulations and enforcement - Providing inputs for evidence-based policy change/ recommendations for improved vehicle safety for modalities used by children for transportation to and from schools. School buses, private vans, motorcycle etc.
- Safe Vehicles - Advocating for the use of safety devices for children. Child restraints anchorage, reflective vests and helmets (motorcycle/bicycles), using safer modes of transport.
The outcomes would improve road safety around selected schools and demonstrable model that can be scaled up to reduce road traffic injuries among school children. The project aims at 2 years of intervention and will target children from Class 5th to 9th (the ages of 10-14 years).
How you can help
We are currently looking for funding for this project. Interested organizations and individuals can contact:
Ms Alpana Saha,
Head of Fundraising,